Kissing a Lot of Toads
For those of you in the industry, the word ‘Brag Book,’ is usually met with understandable groans. And for those of you outside the industry, if there was ever any question as to why sales people are arrogant, well, we’re required to show potential hiring managers what we’ve been able to accomplish, via a ‘Brag Book.’ (Think DIY scrapbook, with positive emails, sales figures, and shiny blue, satin ribbons from the first grade spelling bee).
I’ve always hated this practice for multiple reasons. First, it’s a lazy manager’s tool to try and figure out if you’re good at what you do. Second, it’s obnoxious. Third, it can end up being insulting, to the hiring manager.
A manager for a job, I was pretty sure I didn’t want, was being a total dick in an interview (answering the phone to chat with a buddy about weekend plans, insulting to the waitress, checking out his reflection in a knife (you can’t make this shit up). So when it came time for my ‘Brag Book,’ I slid my previous year’s W-2 across the table, full knowing, that I made more than he did and said, ‘This is me, bragging.’ It oddly had the wrong effect on the situation, and all of a sudden he was attentive and was trying to convince me that I wanted a job.
It’s probably not my most endearing quality, but I seldom do anything I do not want to do. And, allow me to clarify, if it didn’t make sense I wasn’t likely to comply. I was a nightmare for an insecure inept micro manager, and worked well with managers who understood that a manager’s primary function was to support their reps. In a startup, everyone needs to roll up their sleeves.
One manager never paid attention to his emails. Then would send us urgent emails demanding that we respond and give him the data he needed to finish reports immediately (not always possible when you’re in a case in the OR or on a plane or driving in your car for three hours for work.) Funny, all the other managers in the company had sent the same email to their reps two weeks earlier.
Having emotionally intelligent managers and properly screening for personality disorders can save a company in the long run. Hiring the right managers creates less employee turn-over, lawsuits, and increased productivity and profitability. We all know that when we find ‘that’ manager, kissing all those frogs before made it worth it, to find ‘The Prince,’ in the management world.
Respect goes both ways with managers and employees and should be earned on both accounts. All too often managers, get the position and demand and expect ‘respect,’ without giving any in return. I had one manager blame me for his failed attempts to move up the corporate ladder; and, it was probably the one time I supported the company’s decision regarding management. Mind you, this is also a company that hired, and promoted a known sex offender, (again, you can’t make this shit up).
Thanks for reading-Melayna